Photo: Kelowna Rockets forward and Arizona Coyotes prospect Nick Merkley will try to improve on the 20-goal, 90-point season that he produced in 2014-15 (courtesy of Marissa Baecker/Getty Images)
When one watches from a distance, it’s apparent there is plenty of energy bundled up in the package that sports #10 in a Kelowna Rockets’ jersey.
“I just love the game,” Nick Merkley said, when queried by Hockey’s Future about his intensity. “I think that’s the biggest thing. I’m really a competitive guy.” Read more»
Photo: Sharks prospect Rudolfs Balcers and the Stavanger Oilers fell in the Champions Hockey League tournament but the Latvian star is on pace to shatter his league scoring totals (courtesy of Ocelari Trinec/Champions Hockey League via Getty Images)
With an underrated group of players at all levels of play, the 2015-16 San Jose Sharks prospect pool is easily one of the deepest collective systems in the league. On an individual front, there are many exciting stories and players to keep an eye on this upcoming season. Chris Tierney is on the cusp of becoming something truly special, Colin Blackwell eyes his first healthy season in years, and Mirco Mueller will be looking for a season of redemption.
Photo: Chicoutimi Sagueneens forward and Carolina Hurricanes prospect Nicolas Roy will go head-to-head against Val d’Or Foreurs forward and Philadelphia Flyers prospect Nicholas Aube-Kubel this weekend in in QMJHL action (courtesy of Francois Laplante/FreestylePhoto/Getty Images)
Four Arizona Coyotes prospects are in competition this weekend, starting with Ryan MacInnis and Kyle Capobianco, who lock horns in Northern Ontario. Dysin Mayo takes on a potential rival, and Jens Looke rounds out the Coyotes’ entrants in this week’s Prospect Faceoff. Read more»
Photo: San Jose Sharks prospect Timo Meier, the team’s first top ten draft pick since 2007, is part of a European talent influx into the organization (courtesy of Dennis Pajot/Getty Images)
Over the course of two off-seasons, the San Jose Sharks have vastly improved their prospect ranks. The once small and meager prospect pool has quietly evolved into a massive, shark-infested ocean.
While still lacking in true blue chip talent, this is without a doubt the strongest crop of players the Sharks have had in their system in the last ten seasons. But that comes as no surprise with the decline of the NHL roster and its recent playoff failings. After all, prospect pools and winning are typically inversely proportional.
Photo: San Jose’s 2010 draft had its best returns from American high schooler Charlie Coyle, the key component in the Brent Burns acquisition (courtesy of Paul Hebert/Icon Sportswire)
2010 was a heartbreaking year for the San Jose Sharks. They had a squad built for the playoffs, and after being the top team in the Western Conference for a second season in a row, they faltered in the Conference finals, failing to win a single game against the eventual Stanley Cup-winning Chicago Blackhawks.
Due to their success, but ultimate failure, the Sharks would pick 28th overall in the 2010 NHL Draft – a tough pill to swallow for a team that hadn’t had a 1st round selection in the two years prior (and would trade one the next year).